Cairngorms National Park/Aviemore

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The Cairngorms National Park is the heart of the Scottish highlands and Aviemore is the mountain capital (which can be easily recognized by the remarkable number of outdoor sports shops). It is a great area for mountain bike beginners due to the numerous easy trails. However, there are as well more demanding rides. Purpose built mountain bike trails in the Highlands like Laggan Wolftrax or Glenlivet Bike Trails offer more technical technical trail riding. Yet, the experience of nature is something that I really appreciate. An outstanding trail in the Aviemore area that offers both, the impressive nature of the Scottish highlands and great singletrack trail riding, is the trail winding up to Lairig Ghru. I did it as an out & back, but it is possible to climb all the way up to have the option of a loop and a real epic ride…

Although we had mostly fair weather conditions during our Scotland trip, you could see the remainders of the usually wet climate. Muddy spots on the trails are no big deal, but once I followed an unmarked trail that was fainting and found myself in a swamp. My shoes were soaked until I discovered the trail again. Some of the Cairn Gorm trails have rock built drainage across the path that require careful overpassing. Looks like I was a bit to sloppy hopping over the rocks and so I got my first punctured tire with a Schwalbe Hans Dampf, that usually offers decent protection from snake bites.

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